A view of celiac disease with rose coloured glasses. Happy celiac awareness month!

A view of celiac disease with rose coloured glasses. Happy Celiac Awareness Month!

Since the end of April marks two years since my husband’s diagnosis with celiac disease, and we’ve been reflecting on that a lot lately, I figured a blog post was in order.  Some days it can be easy to fall into self-pity thoughts but actually all of our reflections lately have been positive ones! So here is a my view from two years into it…with rose coloured glasses!

This is what I would have said to ourselves back then, with a new diagnosis of celiac disease…

Two years

You have no idea how much better you will feel.  Seriously. You will notice some immediate changes within a couple weeks but many other symptoms are going to take longer.  Some take well over a year to improve.  Be patient, your body will heal itself, become stronger and change for the better.

There is a lifestyle treatment that is actually effective!  Your gut healing is completely within your control instead of having to rely on medications, doctors or interventions. Be thankful it’s something you can do something about…considering all the other diseases out there.

Mental health issues are a huge symptom of untreated celiac disease.  Depression, anxiety, irritability, sleep patterns, concentration and mental clarity can and likely will improve!  But again, it does take time.

You’re going to find improvement in symptoms you didn’t think were related to glutenNight time leg cramps?  Acid reflux?

You are not going to miss gluten.  Really.  As much as you think your life is not going to be the same with croissants, you will adapt to your new eating pattern in no time.  Plus considering how prevalent this way of eating is, you can find substitutes for many food products if you really miss something…like bagels or English muffins.  Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking they are healthy.

You’ll gain lots of new cooking and baking skills and try many different foods that you probably won’t have otherwise!  Millet, sorghum, amaranth?  Embrace it.

You are going to live your life with more intention.  You are going to eat more simply, be more organized and plan your meals better.  That means….less stress, more nutritious foods, less junk food or fast food.  Ultimately eating well = feeling well.

Having a disease really gives you a change of life perspective.  Life and health cannot be taken for granted.  Embrace life and all it has to offer!

Any drawbacks? 

I asked my husband if he regrets or misses anything since his diagnosis.  After thinking about it for a minute he said…

“Gluten free beer is expensive. And I miss perogies”.

(Good Ukrainian boy).

But the first thing he actually blurted out when I asked him that question?

“That didn’t get diagnosed SOONER!”

Happy celiac awareness month!

For more information on celiac disease please check out:

The Canadian Celiac Association

Shelley Case

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